The largest U.S. refinery strike in 35 years could spread if talks over improved safety conditions do not resume soon, United Steelworkers union (USW) International President Leo Gerard said on Tuesday. Union members work at more than 200 oil terminals, pipelines, refineries and chemical plants in the U.S. The USW has said it is seeking to retain safety provisions from previous contracts and tighten fatigue standards for workers, as well as win back daily maintenance jobs now done by non-union contractors. "(The strike spreading) depends on what happens in the next round of negotiations and that those negotiations resume fairly quickly," Gerard in a telephone news conference from Atlanta. Shell Oil Co, the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc [RDSa.L], is the lead oil company negotiator.
By Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Conservative Republicans urged House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner not to capitulate in a fight with Democrats over President Barack Obama's immigration policy that threatens a partial Homeland Security shutdown later this week. The conservative lawmakers, led by Representative Jeff Duncan, circulated a letter to Boehner and other House leaders telling them to hold the line in opposing Obama's executive actions shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, a Duncan aide said on Tuesday. The House last month attached provisions to block spending on Obama's immigration orders to a $39.7 billion bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security.
The storm came as a surprise in North Carolina, where weather models were slow to predict the snowfall generated by cold, moist air over much of the state, resulting in many roads being untreated ahead of the precipitation. Winter weather advisories were in effect across the region, with snow reaching as far east as the North Carolina coast. Another round of wintry precipitation was expected on Wednesday. A 24-year-old man died in a weather-related crash in Utica, Mississippi, after losing control of his vehicle and slamming into a tractor-trailer, local officials said.